Luis Suárez

Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

La Liga: After PSG comeback, Barca lose to Deportivo; Real Madrid go top

Leave a comment

24 hours ago, Barcelona just about controlled their own destiny in the La Liga title race. At the end of weekend, Real Madrid, with their two-point lead and game in hand, are back in total control.

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup — Atleti gain ground in race for 3rd ]

Deportivo La Coruña 2-1 Barcelona

If only league games were played over the course of two leagues, too, Barca might still be able to call themselves favorites for the title. Four days after overcoming a 4-0 deficit to Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, all the momentum in the world on their side, Luis Enrique’s side laid an egg away to 15th-place Depor. Five minutes before halftime, Joselu fired Depor into the lead.

Barely a minute into the second half, Luis Suarez had Barca back on level terms, but that would last fewer than 30 minutes, as Alex Bergantiños reclaimed the lead for Depor with a simple, downward header at the far post in the 74th minute. The defeat snaps Barca’s 19-game unbeaten run (six straight wins) in league play.

Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis

Of course, Barca’s defeat would mean little for Madrid if they couldn’t capitalize on the golden opportunity which presented itself. For 80 minutes, they looked destined to squander it. Antonio Sanabria fired the visitors ahead in the 25th minute, but Cristiano Ronaldo brought Los Blancos back to 1-1 four minutes before halftime.

Through 80 minutes, though, the sides remained deadlocked at 1-1. Then, Sergio Ramos, Madrid’s late-game goalscoring specialist, saved the day.

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Real Madrid 26 19 5 2 69 27 42 11-3-0 8-2-2 62
 Barcelona 27 18 6 3 77 23 54 9-3-1 9-3-2 60
 Sevilla 27 17 6 4 51 31 20 10-2-1 7-4-3 57
 Atlético Madrid 27 15 7 5 49 22 27 9-2-2 6-5-3 52
 Villarreal 27 13 9 5 39 19 20 8-3-3 5-6-2 48
 Real Sociedad 27 15 3 9 42 38 4 7-3-4 8-0-5 48

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Sociedad 0-2 Athletic Bilbao
Celta Vigo 0-1 Villarreal

UCL: Barcelona erases four-goal deficit to flatten PSG

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever rule out Barcelona.

[ MORE: “We saw it in the Super Bowl” ]

Barcelona 6-1 (6-5 agg.) Paris Saint-Germain

Unai Emery could only watch as Barcelona made UCL history. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored markers sandwiched around a PSG own goal to move the hosts to within a goal of forcing extra time.

It looked over when Barcelona’s defense lost track of Edinson Cavani. Forget the how, here’s the result:

But it wasn’t over. No, not at all.

Part of it is due to foul play. After Neymar scored in the 88th minute, Luis Suarez dove to earn a penalty kick moments later. Neymar scored again to make it 5-5 on aggregate.

They still needed to overcome Cavani’s away goal, and did it. Holy cow. They did it. Sergi Roberto darted past the PSG back line to flick a ball behind Kevin Trapp, and Barcelona had a comeback unlike any other.

Celebrate, they would.

Borussia Dortmund 4-0 (4-1 agg.) Benfica

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored three and Christian Pulisic provided a goal and an assist as the Westfalenstadion saw its favored sons overcome a 1-0 first leg deficit.

Aubameyang completed his hat trick in the 85th minute.

On any other day, Pulisic would be the lead story here in America. Watch his assist and goal here.

Suarez: Barca relishes “beautiful challenge” of overturning 4-0

AP Photo/Michel Euler
Leave a comment

The common though following Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 first leg domination of Barcelona is there may be only one or two teams capable of overcoming such a lopsided defeat in a home second leg.

No surprise here, but Barca is one of them.

[ MORE: Slumping Spurs “have to be clever” ]

Saying the loss was “painful”, Blaugranas forward Luis Suarez wants to flip the script in a big way and make history.

From the BBC:

“We are the best team in the world. If there is a team that can overturn this situation, it’s Barcelona.”

“To lose in the manner that we did in the last 16 is difficult and painful. It’s going to be very difficult but it’s a beautiful challenge,” added 30-year-old Suarez.

The problem isn’t scoring four goals, it’s keeping a clean sheet and scoring four goals (or scooping a five-goal win).

Paris Saint-Germain overwhelmed Barca in the first leg with incredible pressing and a knack for taking away space. Luis Enrique will not only have to have his players produce a dynamic performance, he’ll have to be tactically brilliant.

European Cups roundup: Barca into Copa final; Bayern reach semis

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images
Leave a comment

A roundup of Tuesday’s action in the Copa del Rey semifinals and DFB-Pokal quarterfinals…

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings — It’s all a mess behind Chelsea ]

Barcelona 1-1 (3-2) Atletico Madrid

Barcelona are through to their 39th Copa del Rey final, where they’ll play for their record 29th Spanish Cup triumph, following a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday (3-2 on aggregate). Luis Suarez fired Barca to a 3-1 aggregate lead just before halftime, at which point Luis Enrique’s side was cruising to a smooth, painless progression. Sergi Roberto was sent off in the 57th minute, though, as was Atleti’s Yannick Carrasco in the 69th minute, making the result all the more straightforward, or so we thought.

Atleti won a penalty in the 80th minute, only to see Kevin Gameiro’s effort glance off the crossbar and head for the stands behind the goal. Gameiro tapped home a brilliant ball from Antoine Griezmann three minutes later, though, to bring the visitors to within a goal of sending the tie to extra time. Luis Suarez was booked once in the 87th minute, then shown a straight red card for an elbow to the head of Koke in the 90th minute — which means he’ll be suspended for the final — forcing Barca to see out the game with nine men. That’s what we call making life unnecessarily difficult.

The Blaugrana will go into the May 27 final as massive favorites, as they’ll face the winner of Wednesday’s second semifinal second leg, between Alaves and Celta Vigo, which is currently all square at 0-0.

[ MORE: Philipp Lahm will retire this summer, at 33 ]

Bayern Munich 1-0 Wolfsburg

Douglas Costa scored the game’s only goal, as Carlo Ancelotti opted to field a full-strength side with critical Bundesliga games either side of Tuesday’s Cup quarterfinal. Philipp Lahm made his 501st appearance for the club — he was honored for his 500th, achieved over the weekend, prior to the game — and then it was reported by German newspaper Sport Bild that the 33-year-old will retire at the end of the season. Bayern are through to the semifinals, which puts them two games from (likely) sending the German legend out a double (at least) winner (again).

Hamburg 2-0 Kolk

Hamburg currently sit 16th of 18 teams in the Bundesliga (relegation playoff place), but they’re through to the semifinals of the German Cup after a 2-0 home win over Koln, which was capped off by the seventh goal of the season for U.S. national team striker Bobby Wood. (WATCH HERE) The last time Hamburg lifted a major domestic trophy, the date was June 20, 1987 (Cup).

Full DFB-Pokal scoreboard

Greuther Fuerth 0-2 Borussia Monchengladbach
FCA Walldorf 1-1 (4-5 PKs) Arminia Bielefeld

WATCH: Suarez carries from midfield to give Barca lead over Atleti

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Quite a goal, Mr. Suarez, quite a goal.

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez took less than seven minutes to make normally stingy Atletico Madrid look pretty open, but there is good news for the hosts at the Vicente Calderon: manager Diego Simeone couldn’t really get in their faces until halftime.

[ MORE: College defender joins Sunderland ]

Suarez gained possession near the halfway line and then dribbled through the Atleti backs before using the outside of his boot to push the ball under a diving Jan Oblak, as Barca took a 1-0 lead in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.

It’s his 22nd goal of the season for Barcelona, and his 106th overall goal for the Blaugranas. He’s good at soccer.